My Happy Life by Lydia Millet
A Novel

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At the opening of My Happy Life, the unnamed narrator has been abandoned in a locked room of a deserted mental hospital. She hasn't seen the nice man who brings her food in days; so she's eaten the soap, the toothpaste, and even tried to eat the plaster on her walls — a dietary adventure that ended none too well. This woman's story, covering decades and spanning continents, is tragic, yet she is curiously at peace, even happy. Despite a lifetime of neglect, physical abuse, and loss, she's incapable of perceiving slight or injury. She has infinite faith in the goodwill of others, loves even her enemies, and finds grace and communion in places most people wouldn't dare to brave. Lauded by both critics and readers, My Happy Life consistently surprises and excites with its original vision of a unique woman whose rich interior life protects her from the horrors of external reality.

About Lydia Millet

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Lydia Millet is the author of Omnivores and George Bush, Dark Prince of Love. She lives in Tucson, Arizona and New York City.
Published January 9, 2002 by Henry Holt and Co.. 160 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Happy Life

Publishers Weekly

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The details of her fabulous, tortured life are precise and quirky, and she is always allowed to tell her story in her own childlike way to startling ironic effect in a novel that stands as a courageous and memorable achievement.

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Star Tribune

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Review: In this quirky, imaginative novel, Millet opens fresh philosophical perspectives on the nature of abuse by creating a heroine who adapts to her pathetic life with pathological optimism.

Feb 16 2002 | Read Full Review of My Happy Life: A Novel

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